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Comment Re:Libel is controversial? (Score 1) 103

I didn't want to have an enormous summary, so I didn't flesh that out. FTA:

Now, as someone who has been the target of many a vicious attack from commenters or forum posters, I can understand frustration with the nature of online anonymous criticism. But to actually try to make such a thing illegal? You wade into dangerous waters that anything resembling freedom of speech will likely drown in. And that’s overlooking the free speech implications trampled by banning pornography and file-sharing as well, two provisions getting less attention due to the severity of the libel section.

Via CBS, a senator who opposed the bill explains its potential ramifications:

“If you click ‘like,’ you can be sued, and if you share, you can also be sued,” said Sen. Teofisto Guingona III, one of the lawmakers who voted against the passage of the law.

“Even Mark Zuckerberg can be charged with cyber-libel,” the senator said.

The provision, according to Guingona, is so broad and vague that it’s not even clear who should be liable for a given statement online. And if you’re found guilty, get ready to spend up to 12 years in prison.

Guingona poses the question, who exactly is libel for the libel? Is it the person who made the statements? Anyone who reblogged or retweeted them? The website on which the comments were made? Anyone who commented in assent or even clicked ‘like’? The way the law is worded, the Filipino police could actually charge you with simply criticizing them or the government in a way they deem “malicious,” a word very much open to interpretation.

Censorship

Submission + - The Philippines' Cybercrime Prevention Act makes SOPA look reasonable (forbes.com)

silentbrad writes: From Forbes: "The dark days of SOPA and PIPA are behind the US, at least temporarily as copyright tycoons reground and restrategize, attempting to come up with measures that don’t cause the entire internet to shut down in protest. But one country has already moved ahead with similar legislation. The government of the Philippines has passed the Cybercrime Prevention Act, which on the surface, as usual, sounds perfectly well-intentioned. But when you read the actual contents of what’s been deemed “cybercrime,” SOPA’s proposed censorship sounds downright lax by comparison. Yes, there’s the usual hacking, cracking, identity theft and spamming, which most of us can agree should be illegal. But there’s also cybersex, pornography, file-sharing (SOPA’s main target) and the most controversial provision, online libel.
Television

Submission + - TV Will Be Apple's Undoing (wsj.com)

silentbrad writes: From the Wall Street Journal: "Forget the maps farrago. Look at Apple's agony over the TV puzzle. Apple is frustrated because there is no solution to TV that will let Apple keep doing what it has been doing. Like schnauzers overreacting to the postman's arrival, the tech press was in a tizzy a month ago on reports that Apple was talking to the cable industry about bringing cable's linear channel lineups to a future Apple device. But the technical feat is no technical feat. Time Warner and Cablevision managed to roll out iPad apps within days of the device's debut 2½ years ago. These TV apps proved unsatisfactory not because of any lack of Apple magic, but because only certain channels were available, and because consumers were allowed only to watch in the home (the whole point of an iPad is its portability). Even so, the Hollywood studios that actually own the shows sued saying the apps violated their contract rights. Apple's fans imagine the company can do for TV what it did for music: breaking up the existing distribution model. Forget about it. Television is about to demonstrate the inadequacy of Apple's own business model. ... Can Apple CEO Tim Cook and company make the turn? Two years ago, in a column on the Microsofting of Apple, we noted that a company preoccupied with products was in danger of becoming a company preoccupied with "strategy"—which we defined as zero-sum maneuvering versus hated rivals. ... A similar miscalculation led Microsoft to treat Netscape as a mortal threat and into a self-defeating tussle with a reciprocally purblind Justice Department. The Web did indeed create enormous opportunities that were seized by companies other than Microsoft, but Microsoft is still around and doing fine. Let it be said that some techies see evidence of a more rational impulse within Apple. They say Apple's browser and HTML5 support are conspicuously superior to Android's. Within Apple apparently there are teams committed to making sure Apple devices are competitive in the open-ecosystem world that is coming. The real test will be for senior management. The time to worry will be if Apple's quixotic quest for TV leads it to block more realistic solutions that emerge on the open Internet. When Apple admits defeat about TV, that may be the best sign for the company's future."
Facebook

Submission + - Facebook denies leak of users' private messages

silentbrad writes: The CBC (among others) reports: "A Facebook spokesperson is denying reports that private messages sent by users on the social networking site have become public. The purported glitch began generating attention Monday after French newspaper Metro reported that private messages dating from 2007 to 2009 had become accessible to friends and acquaintances on their profile pages. Other newspapers across the country began reporting similar incidences, citing reports from the site's users. The issue may be related to Facebook moving to its Timeline layout worldwide. ... The company issued a statement in response, saying: "A small number of users raised concerns after what they believed to be private messages appeared on their timeline. Our engineers investigated these reports and found that the messages were older wall posts that had always been visible on the users' profile pages. Facebook is satisfied that there has been no breach of user privacy." TechCrunch.com wrote that there was no evidence the messages in question had been private, and posted an explanation from a company spokesperson. "Every report we’ve seen, we’ve gone back and checked. We haven’t seen one report that’s been confirmed [of a private message being exposed]. A lot of the confusion is because before 2009 there were no likes and no comments on wall posts. People went back and forth with wall posts instead of having a conversation [in the comments of single wall post.]“
Canada

Submission + - Canadian musician fined $1200 for pennies on album cover (nationalpost.com)

silentbrad writes: The National Post reports: "The [Royal Canadian] Mint recently issued a warning to Halifax-based folk music singer Dave Gunning — whose upcoming album depicts pennies on both the front and back cover — that he has violated the government’s copyright on the currency. Most of us have probably never thought of inspecting our money in great detail, but Canadian bills do indeed contain a copyright notice in the lower right corner, and coins are covered under the same provisions. The album, entitled No More Pennies, includes lyrics about the coin and features a man sitting in a coffee shop with a bunch of pennies strewn across the counter on its front cover. On the back is a picture of a giant penny falling below the horizon like a sunset. The Mint says it will not charge Mr. Gunning a fee for the first 2,000 albums he produces, but will levy a charge of $1,200 for the next 2,000 copies — a cost this struggling artist says he cannot afford. According to one government bureaucrat, however, the Mint is helping 'this guy out by giving him a break.' ... 'It is pennies to them but is pretty substantial for me,' said Mr. Gunning, who has launched a 'Penny Drive' to try and raise the money to pay this unexpected tax. ... The Canadian dollar is not the only major currency protected by copyright — the British Pound and the Euro also feature copyright notices. But the idea that the government can own the copyright on its works is a concept that’s completely foreign to Americans and citizens of many other countries. Under this country’s Copyright Act, all government works 'belong to Her Majesty' and remain copyrighted 'for a period of fifty years following the end of that calendar year.' This is known as 'Crown Copyright,' which is different from how public works are handled in countries such as the United States, where government documents are automatically put into the public domain."
Piracy

Submission + - PC has a Piracy Rate of 93-95%, says Ubisoft (gamesindustry.biz) 1

silentbrad writes: From GamesIndustry International: "Ubisoft CEO Yves Guillemot has told GamesIndustry International that the percentage of paying players is the same for free to play as it is for PC boxed product: around five to seven per cent. ... 'On PC it's only around five to seven per cent of the players who pay for F2P, but normally on PC it's only about five to seven per cent who pay anyway, the rest is pirated. It's around a 93-95 per cent piracy rate, so it ends up at about the same percentage. The revenue we get from the people who play is more long term, so we can continue to bring content.' ... 'We must be careful because the consoles are coming. People are saying that the traditional market is declining and that F2P is everything — I'm not saying that. We're waiting for the new consoles — I think that the new consoles will give a huge boost to the industry, just like they do every time that they come. This time, they took too long so the market is waiting.'

Comment Re:*facepalm* (Score 1) 84

Here in the West, you hear "couple of loonies", "couple of twonies", "a loonie or two", and so forth for values under $5. You'll even see "loonie bin" and "twonie bin" for the value items in some stores.

I don't know what West you're talking about, but in the Edmonton area (where I've lived my entire life), I've never heard anyone talk like that unless they were specifically referring to the coins (rather than the dollar amount).

Comment Re:Alrighty then... (Score 1) 244

Pretty close in Alberta, now:

Therefore, the government’s position appears contradictory. If indeed naturopaths offer “safe and effective” treatment, then why wouldn’t they be covered? However, if these services do not meet the evidentiary standard laid out by our health-care system, then why is the government giving what surely amounts to tacit approval of naturopathy?

Games

Submission + - What Happens to Your Used Games? (ign.com)

silentbrad writes: From IGN: "GameStop’s bosses are obviously tired of hearing about how used games are killing gaming, about how unfair they are on the producers of the games who get nothing from their resale. One astonishing stat is repeated by three different managers during presentations. 70 percent of income consumers make from trading games goes straight back into buying brand new games. GameStop argues that used games are an essential currency in supporting the games business. The normal behavior is for guys to come into stores with their plastic bags full of old games, and trade them so that they can buy the new Call of Duty, Madden, Gears of War. GameStop says 17 percent of its sales are paid in trade credits. The implication is clear — if the games industry lost 17 percent of its sales tomorrow, that would be a bad day for the publishers and developers."
Television

Submission + - Big media struggles to adapt an old model to a new world at Olympics (theglobeandmail.com)

silentbrad writes: From the Globe and Mail: "The first Olympic broadcast crackled over the airwaves 64 years ago in London, as a few thousand people who lived near venues were able to pick up some events on their black-and-white televisions. The decades since then have been kind to Olympic broadcasters, who raked in billions of dollars from advertisers eager to get their products in front of the massive worldwide audiences glued to television sets. As the Games return to London, that model is coming apart ... The future is so unclear that all of Canada’s broadcasters have pulled out of bidding for the 2014 and 2016 Games because they aren’t convinced the old model will still work only a few years from now as more consumers move online. ... Sixty-four years after television came to the Games, the Olympic Broadcast Service employs 13,000 to produce 2,500 hours of content covering virtually every sport. Canada’s Olympic Consortium – 80 per cent owned by BCE Inc. and the rest by Rogers Communications Inc. – will send more than 5,000 hours of content to televisions, phones and computers. Unlike the Canadian broadcasters who are threatening to walk away completely because of high costs, NBC doesn’t have the luxury of sitting out the next time Olympians gather to compete. It signed a $4.38-billion deal last year that will see it broadcasting through 2020.

Comment Re:but you can change a password (Score 1) 111

According to the article, this particular one reads the sweat glands on the fingertip: "In addition to the metaphorical connotation, he trademarked his technology as “the human barcode” because the sweat-gland patterns create a numerical reading like a computerized barcode." There's also a Japanese one in the article that reads body pressure, "technology dubbed 'butt biometrics' by some tech press following its introduction last year." And one other that can recognize a face based on partial images like "a criminal wearing a balaclava".
Security

Submission + - Face to face with the 'human barcode' (financialpost.com)

silentbrad writes: From the Financial Post: "Fast-evolving biometric technologies are promising to deliver the most convenient, secure connection possible between you and your bank account — using your body itself in place of all of those wallets and purses stuffed with cash, change and plastic cards. Biometrics is the science of humans’ physiological or behaviourial characteristics and it’s being used to develop technology that recognizes and matches unique patterns in human fingerprints, faces and eyes and even sweat glands and buttock pressure. Its applications in the financial realm are a potentially huge time and effort saver, but that’s just a beginning for the technology’s usefulness. ... [BIOPTid Inc.]’s One Touch cube, set to be on the market within a year, is an external device that users can hook up to their computers and mobile electronics to replace passwords for Internet logins and banking. The cube reads a personal sweat gland barcode to verify identity from the moisture on a user’s fingertip. ... “Biometrics is something that’s used by governments, it’s used by ‘Big Brother’ to keep an eye on us and we want to change that,” says Mr. McNulty. “We think biometrics is something that can be actually used by the people and it becomes their technology that they use to protect themselves.”
Canada

Submission + - Canadian banks rushing to offer virtual wallets (theglobeandmail.com) 1

silentbrad writes: From the Globe and Mail: Canada’s big banks are preparing to launch “virtual wallets” as early as this fall that will allow consumers to digitally consolidate their credit and debit cards from any financial institution, and use them to make purchases online and through their cellphones at cash registers. It is being called the biggest change to the way consumers pay for goods in Canada in decades, and for the banks moving quickly into this space, the strategy is about keeping ownership of the vast and potentially lucrative stores of data that are involved in transactions. Royal Bank of Canada is expected to be first into the market in October, when it launches a digital wallet for mobile phones that will use RBC cards at first, but will eventually expand to welcome all brands of debit and credit cards. A few months later, the bank will launch a digital wallet for online purchases in partnership with Visa that holds all varieties of cards, regardless of brand. The majority of the banking sector is expected to follow suit in the next year or so, with each financial institution relying on the concept of “aliases,” where a password lets consumers access their payment cards, but protects personal information from being passed to the merchant. The alias method is similar to how online services such as PayPal work. ... Retailers can use the information contained in transactions, stripped of details that violate privacy laws, to tailor offerings or promotions to consumers. And the banks figure they can build a new business from that new world. Location data on phones can help neighbourhood stores connect with customers in the area, while transaction data online can give insight into consumer habits and tastes. Consumers will be able to turn this feature on and off, Mr. McKay said, but will have access to offers, promotions and sales that would make it attractive. It is a potentially lucrative new business for the banks – making money off the data collected from each payment made via credit or debit cards, and the access the bank has to the consumer.

Comment Re:JP (Score 1) 146

I saw that in the discovery channel. I think the guy was talking about doing the same with emus or ostriches. Of course, it might also be that I saw the chicken embryos he'd been messing with and started thinking about an ostrich with teeth, scales, arms with clawed digits, and a tail as long as the rest of its body.

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